Friday :: Dec 6, 2019

Norah O’Donnell & CBS Evening News Pass the Hack Test

by paradox

For a fresh bookmark/favorite list to ring in the new year I can hardly think of a more worthy addition than Press Watch, the US journalism critique site edited by Dan Froomkin.

Critique and analysis of the appalling US journalism core runs at the very heart and core of independent blogging, time was half the blog entries on the web were about press criticism. Dr. Atrios at Eschaton is an associate/partner with Media Matters, Athenae at First Draft is always a fine press criticism source, while Hullabaloo has finely honed its perfect and long history of the US journalism hissy fit.

To really dial back the wayback machine there used to be an infamous media criticism site named Media Whores Online, ‘n they chose the w-word, not me. Anyway the absolutely terrific author(s) were such a needed breath of fresh truth in the reeking US media landscape, and one time they asked for sorta-partners on individual journalists, they called them “watchers.”

So I did it, I bought a domain, built a really simple table site and critiqued journalist Mona Charen for over a year, it was called Charen Watch, every time she published I slammed the awful politics and tried to flesh out the basic political tenets she was talking about in 750 words.

Looking back on it I see the effort as not bad, it’s not as easy as it sounds, but what stays with me the most is that I made it crystal clear to Mona Charen that although her politics were often horrifying (oy!) I always meant the very best for her sons and her husband, no matter what I excoriated her for twice a week it never meant she and her family were to be denied anything of the American Dream. I precisely wished the very best for her sons, they deserve the very best of our country just like all of us, I’m glad I did that.

Wayback machine still hand another site documenting an awful facet of US journalism is the aforementioned Hullaballoo and the Hissy Fit, its long history covering the phenomena deserves mention twice. Press Watch by Mr. Froomkin covered the latest clown show over Barron Trump, but Digby’s been chronicling this childish phenomena for over 15 years.

Ah yes, the latest explosion of faux outrage, the bellowing hurt of injustice, the screeching howls of unfairness as the Republicans frantically gin up some ridiculous issue they’ve been wronged with to distract voters and hurt Democrats, the Hissy Fit.

To put it out there, the very worst and most offensive hissy fit to me was the fake Republic hurt and anger over booing at the Wellstone funeral. It was a total fabrication from reality and inflicted inestimable damage to the Democratic Party, it’s precisely sickening episodes like this that spawned all these media criticism sites and blogs, god what a disgrace.

Yes it’s been going on a very long time, the main reason because the awful US journalism corps keep falling for it and braying after the non-story like a pack of rabid hyenas. When all the ridiculous outrage started over the testimony of Dr. Pamela Karlan and her use of the President’s son’s name in an okay-joke Twitter, Press Watch, Hullabaloo and many others raised up the flag and said here we go again, hissy fit #223321!

An excellent entry was from GrafZeppelin127 at Daily Kos, who fleshed out the phenomena with an angle from Mathew Yglesias called the Hack Gap. GrafZeppelin127 also wondered who would pass the hack test—that is, which media sources would stupidly pass on the fake Republican outrage and story—and who would fail.

Mr. Froomkin wrote it up, as usual teevee journalism was an awful wasteland of chattering inanity that perfectly played along with the stupid Republican talking points. But for once there was a glaring blessed exception from the major television networks, Norah O’Donnell and the CBS Evening News, she and the network simply ignored the non-story.

To me it’s a shame that such decent journalism performance only gets listed once at Press Watch so I’m doing it again here. Thank you and congratulations, Norah O’Donnell and CBS Evening News, along with a few others you actually showed good judgment and discretion, most of all not obscuring the truth or inflicting whatever damage the Republicans were attempting. It really matters, we’ll keep watching, the country and our future is worth it.

paradox :: 8:09 AM :: Comments (0) :: Digg It!